If you are interested in studying forensic psychology, either as a graduate or post-graduate student, this resource will be perfect for you! This article was written by the EAPL-S representative for Italy: Nicola Palena.
Here you go. You have been almost everywhere around the globe, from icy places to sunny
countries. Yet, you’d like to live in Italy, visiting Rome, Naples and Venice. And, of course, you want to study Forensic Psychology. In Italy, all public universities and some private universities are accredited (to become a psychologist…). However, there are some important points which need to be reported. Maybe a bullet point list makes it more readable!
- The Bachelor’s Degree, in Italian laurea Triennale, is usually the entry level. You can enrol
as soon as you finish high school. It lasts three years, usually (but it can last more as you are
allowed to end your study later on). Obtaining a bachelor’s degree does not give you the
requirements needed to become a psychologist.
- Now that you got your bachelor’s degree, you can apply for a master’s degree, which in
Italian is called Laurea Magistrale. It usually lasts two years. Note that in most universities
the tests are mostly written or oral, examining your understanding of the course content.
- You received your master’s degree, congratulations! Yet, more work is needed to become a
licensed psychologist. You need to spend 1000 hours (over 12 months) as a psychology
trainee. Once you finish this training, you are allowed to apply for a state examination aimed
at giving you the title of licensed psychologist (Esame di Stato). Such examination includes
three written exams and an oral exam. It can be tough, and the rate of successful candidates
can sometime be around 20-30% only. Yet, if you study hard, you will make it!
Update: however, there have been some changes lately. Now a master’s degree student no
longer needs to undergo 1000 hours of post-degree training as this is going to be
embedded into the master’s programme.
There are also other study possibilities
- After a bachelor’s degree, you may apply for a “Master di I livello” (I level Master).
It has not to be confounded with a master’s degree! This is a training in a very
specific area (say, for example, psychological testing), but it does not allow you to
apply for the state examination
- The same is true for the “Master di II livello” (II level master). The difference with
the previous one is that II level masters are opened only to master’s degree
Finally, after you obtain your master’s degree, you can apply for either a PhD or a Scuola di
Specializzazione. The PhD is very similar to PhD programmes in other countries. It lasts
three years, usually, and focuses on a specific research project. The “Scuola di
Specializzazione” usually lasts three to four years and allows you to become a
Now, for what concerns specific programmes into legal and forensic psychology, there seems to be
only two master’s degrees on the topic. There is “Psicologia Criminologica e Forense” (Criminal and Forensic
Psychology) at the University of Turin (here is the link) and Forensic Psychology at Lumsa University, Rome
(here is the link).
A good alternative may be to consider further studies such as “Master di I-II livello” or a PhD.
An interesting opportunity comes from the University of Padua, with its Forensic Psychopathology
and Neuropsychology II level Master, but there are many more. Anyone who may be interested in
such opportunities should have a look at the Italian Association of Judicial Psychology
WARNING! Unfortunately, there are many advertised courses which are not legally recognised in
Italy. The best way to be sure that you are enrolling into a serious programme is to verify if a
specific course is recognised by MIUR, here (http://www.miur.gov.it/) and here
Other useful resources can be found at
- Consiglio Nazionale Ordine Psicologi (The regulatory body for the psychological profession) – http://www.psy.it/
- Associazione Italiana Psicologia (Italian Psychological Association) – https://aipass.org/
- Associazione Italiana Psicologia Giuridica (Italian Association of Judicial Psychology) – http://www.aipgitalia.org/.
- Società Italiana di Psicologia Giuridica (Italian Society of Judicial Psychology) – http://www.psicologiagiuridica.net/spg/
There are several professors in Italy working in the Legal, Forensic, and Judicial Psychology fields.
Below is a brief list:
- Prof. Letizia Caso, University of Bergamo
- Prof. Giuseppe Sartori, University of Padua
- Prof. Guglielmo Gulotta, Fondazione Gulotta
- Prof. Georgia Zara, University of Turin
- Prof. Patrizia Patrizi, University of Ferrara
- Prof. Daniela Pajardi, University of Urbino
- Prof. Antonietta Curci, University of Bari
- Prof. Santo di Nuovo, University of Catania
- Prof. Patrizia Catellani, University “Cattolica”
- Prof. Anna Maria Giannini, University of Rome, La Sapienza
- Prof. Paola Di Blasio, University “Cattolica”
- Prof. Irene Petruccelli, LUMSA University
- Prof. Valeria Verrastro, University of Cassino
- Prof. Davide Dettore, University of Florence
- Prof. Fiorella Giusberti, University of Bologna
- Dr. Angelo Zappalà, Scuola di Specializzazione CBT academy
Hopefully, this short guide is of help for anyone looking forward to study legal psychology in Italy!